The Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle

itSMF (2007)
Review date: March, 2010

The first three chapters are used to explain the state of ITIL today, and lay some ground by first explaining what services are, and how they are organized in ITIL. Then follow core concepts, each in its own chapter: "Service Strategy", "Service Design", "Service Transition", "Service Operation", and "Continual Service Improvement". A two page long chapter, 9, discusses related frameworks, such as Six Sigma and CMMI. The tenth chapter sums it all up. Since the book relies on precise terminology, the last fifty pages contain acronyms and a glossary.


OK... I have plowed through some heavy material for the sake of this site. Some 500+ page books I've read were really what an average reader would call "reference material". Nonetheless, I've read every page. In this book's case, I gave up around page 70 (of roughly 150). This will, of course, bias the review. On the other hand, I don't really consider this pile of glued-together papers a book.

From a reading perspective, this book is a nightmare! Page after page of dry, unmotivated, unchallenged assertions, mixed with figures that don't really help clarifying anything. I'm aware of that this is not a book per se, where an author shows experience in a field and wants to educate the reader. It's a digest of a framework. On the other hand, there's no law against making summaries readable.

Reading this book made me tired. One could view this book as a set of bullet lists of bullet lists and enumerations; both being there for a sake of its own. No explanations, no discussions, no examples. Nothing. Lists, enumerations, cheesy figures.

This book is supposed to give an overview of and introduction to ITIL, something that would encourage an interested reader to read more. You see where I'm going with this one...

Needless to say, I can't recommend this as a source for the ITIL Foundation exam. Use other material.

As for the contents. At the end of the day, I bet that pretty much everything contained in this book's lists and enumerations is correct and sound. However, it's presented in a form that makes it hard to translate to your daily routines. This is probably why there is a market for ITIL consultants. What I'm trying to say, is that this book can't be wrong, since it describes a desired state without telling you how to get there. The end state is a good one though.

I'm sorry. I don't like this book. I consider it boring and difficult to read. There have to be better ways to present the foundations of ITIL.

Who should read this book

Those going for the ITIL Foundation exam must probably read or browse this book. As for other people, I cannot encourage you more to find another source of information.


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